NATO discusses how to turn Ukraine into its stronghold against Russia

A ceasefire; demarcation of a demilitarized strip in Donbas about 100 kilometres, perhaps monitored by the OSCE; and behind, a non-NATO member Ukraine; but with all its interoperable forces with the weapons and procedures of the Alliance. This is how high-ranking Spanish military sources foresee a future for Ukraine if a ceasefire is declared.

If no ceasefire is declared, the third variable remains a safe bet. In fact, it already began to be so in 2014. After the Russian annexation of Crimea, began training of the Ukrainian military by advisers of NATO armiesespecially Poland and the United States, which explains, according to sources from the leadership of the Alliance, the effective resistance against Russia in the first phase of the war.

That of a Ukraine interoperating with the western one is the composition of the future that the delegates of 30 countries of the Atlantic Alliance and the EU also make before whom Volodimir Zelensky is expected to speak this Wednesday, in an unprecedented scene: never before has the president of a country invaded by Russia addressed the main NATO assembly, much less with Russian missiles flying over his head.

More weapons, more time

The West will approve in Madrid a renewed aid package for the attacked Ukraine. kyiv has started the summer fighting desperately in Luhanskand without initiating the counter-offensive in Donbas for which the Alliance staffs were betting on the 100th day of the war.

On June 2, the Secretary General of NATO, Jens Stoltenbergannounced a general forecast of the allies: the war in the Ukraine will last for months, if not years, or, put more euphemistically, “we must prepare for the long haul -he warned-, because we see that this war has now become a war of attrition”.

The prolongation in time of the war will accentuate the integration of the Ukrainian forces in the Western doctrine and systems, creating by aggregation an advantage for NATO: a westernized stronghold on the eastern flank of the organization, just when it decides to significantly strengthen that part of its territory.

Ukraine has desperately called for tanks and mobile and longer-range artillery to withstand Russian onslaught in Donbas

Ukraine has asked with anguish tanks and mobile artillery and longer range to resist the Russian onslaughts in Donbas, and that is where the deepest renovation of its arsenal begins: Stinger anti-aircraft and Spike anti-tank missilesof which the United States has ordered a doubling of production so as not to run out of its own safety stock.

Ukraine needs to counter the 2S1 Gvozdika, a Soviet 122-millimeter artillery piece. A battery of six devastates a neighborhood the size of Raval or Chamberí. Russia would have half a thousand pieces, part ceded to Donbas rebels.

The Z Army also uses the 152-millimeter 2S3 Akatsiya cannon at the forefront, equivalent to the M109, the most widespread in the West. and both countries they punish themselves with the 2S7 Pión, self-propelled, long-range and 203 millimeters, one of the heaviest they have seen in this war Spanish military sources.

Ukraine has so far received four 270MLRS rocket launchers from the United States. It is a scarce but valuable contribution, capable of shoot from 70 kilometers away, and that, having Snake Island within reach, is key to defending the coast of Odessa.

The interpolation of Western weaponry in the Ukrainian forces has already gone through the receipt of several dozen Polish 2S1 122-millimeter self-propelled guns, the NATO-standard M109 155 howitzers, of which Norway sent 22 and the UK sold another 20, and a huge German gun – at least seven PHZ2000 self-propelled guns 155 millimeters, among the most powerful artillery in the world.

no punishment

There is a gray conviction among the allies who sit this Wednesday in Madrid: there will be no Nuremberg trial against Putin, their generals and their oligarchs. That forecast, in the form of headlines, “works as a media heroine, but it is not real”, corroborated EL PERIÓDICO Nuno Pinheiroformer director of Defense Policy of the Portuguese Ministry of Defense and an expert in International Criminal Law, at the International Seminar on Security and Defense held last week in Toledo.

There is also another widespread belief within NATO; according to the aforementioned sources of the Alliance: the summer reached by Russia, to the aggressor power the passage of time suits him.

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“In their attack they have shown to make many mistakes, but defending they are a very tough army,” explains a Spanish general. In other words, Ukraine’s fighting for recapture territory won by Russia in Donbas they can reach an unsustainable strategic and lives cost.

Time plays in Russia’s favor, moreover, if a winter is dangerously approaching with the prices of gas and other energies as they are, and with the European supplies in danger. The extension in time will test the cohesion of the partners Europeans. And that concern, these sources say, is already evident to President Zelensky.

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